#EXCLUSIVE: FS MEC met with slain Bfn farmer

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Bloemfontein farmer and taxi owner, Ntau Lucas Mokoena, was killed mere hours after he met with Free State Agriculture MEC William Bulwane.

OFM News earlier reported that the provincial department owed Mokoena approximately R1.8 million. Bulwane condemned Mokoena’s killing but initially said nothing about meeting him on the Monday morning before his death. OFM News submitted questions to which the department responded confirming the meeting. It is believed that the reason for the meeting was to urge Bulwane to pay the money owed to him.

Mokoena was killed at his home in Fichardt Park on Monday evening at around 21:35. Bulwane called the killing a “senseless attack on farms”, stating that the murder of farmers continues to rob the provincial agricultural sector of skills and experience. Even though Mokoena was killed at his home, Bulwane refers to the murder as a farm attack as he says that the death of any farmer by murder is a threat to the economy, as it may spur on job losses for farm workers and may also further threaten food security.

Mokoena, the owner of the Kareelaagte Farm outside Bloemfontein, previously told OFM News the department ordered 87 pregnant cows and 3 bulls from him at a total cost – including the transportation – of R1.8 million. No tender procedures were followed with the project meant to assist emerging farmers.

In response to questions from OFM News, the department said there was nothing sinister about the meeting. A spokesperson for the department, Zimasa Leputla, said this meeting between Bulwane and Mokoena had previously been scheduled and related to the deceased’s farming business.

Leputla explained in an email to OFM News that since MEC Bulwane took office last month, he has met with various farmers and stakeholders in the agricultural sector to engage them on a wide range of issues. Leputla, therefore, states that there is nothing sinister or bizarre about Mokoena and Bulwane’s meeting. She further goes on to state that after their meeting, Bulwane referred the deceased to another official of the Department who was to further assist him on matters that he had brought forward.

Free State police spokesperson, Peter Kareli, has told OFM News that so far, only Mokoena’s 51-year-old wife, Kelebogile, was arrested, while two other suspects said to have killed Mokoena, are still at large.

PULANE CHOANE / OFM News